Homegrown Southeast Asian edtech startup shines at INSEAD and NYU conference

(Dantri, Mar 1st, 2016) Homegrown Southeast Asian edtech startup shines at INSEAD and NYU conference

Last month, Dr. Truman Pham, CEO and Founder of Topica Edtech Group, shared his views on the state of education technology in Southeast Asia at the Kaizen & INSEAD Education Symposium 2016 (KINSES2016).  


The Kaizen & INSEAD Education Symposium 2016, co-organized by Kaizen Private Equity, INSEAD and NYU was held in Dubai, UAE from Feb 27 - 28.

Investors, policy makers, education CXOs and members of the media made up the 300 international delegates in town to hear 50 speakers from 20 countries speak.

Under the theme "Global Trends, Local Realities" were 11 dynamic sessions led by speakers from the likes of Stanford, Harvard and NYU. Content was mainly focused on edtech trends and how the space has been growing globally, especially in Asia. In fact, a GIA report revealed that investment into eLearning has reached US$107 billion globally in 2015, with no signs of slowing down.


KINSES 2016 was held in Dubai with 50 speakers from 20 countries

Notable attendees were Mark Dorman, President of McGraw-Hill Education; Mike Michalec, Managing Director of EdTech Asia; Katelyn Donnelly, Managing Director of Pearson Affordable Learning Fund; Peter Blair Henry, Dean of Leonard N. Stern School of Business and Salah-Eddine Kandri, Global Head of Education at IFC. In all, there were 50 speakers from 20 countries speaking at KINSES2016.

Topica's Truman Pham was on a panel with Dr. Amir Rao, Director for Global Business Development at Udemy; Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director at Bertelsmann Corporate Services India and Mr. Harman Singh, Founder and CEO of WizIQ. The topic at hand was on "the Innovation of the New Wave - Blended Learning."


Dr. Truman Pham with other speakers at KINSES 2016


Pham shared his views on the positive effects of eLearning in the developing world: "Online learning provides opportunities for students to receive a high quality global education at a reasonable cost, especially in developing countries. Asia and Europe haven't applied online learning widely. However, in America, up to 70% of 3,000 university leaders believe that online education is equal to, or even higher in quality compared to traditional ones. Teachers can apply the reverse method by giving students videos to learn in advance at home, so in classes they'll just focus on discussing the topic."

In another session, Peter Henry, Dean of NYU's Leonard N. Stern School of Business also shared insights: "It is estimated that the demand for university and vocational training will be two or three times more than the ability of the government to invest in the next decade. In my opinion, the solutions are raising the private investment into education and providing the online university degree program in many countries like Vietnam."


Dr. Truman Pham with Mr. Peter Henry (in the center)

Topica is a top online education provider in Southeast Asia, with presence in Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, collaborating with top universities such as AMA and Palawan State.

One of Topica's mottos is: "Winner is King, Loser is Knight," which encourages the culture of trying out new technologies and methods. More than 1,000 managers and experts from various organizations contribute to the "Connecting Companies to Schools." Despite their busy schedules, they still spend 800 hours annually (about three hours a day) to teach online and answer questions from students.

Sandeep Aneja, Founder of Kaizen Private Equity, praised Topica's innovative contributions to the edtech space. "We invited Topica to share at the symposium because we were impressed by their training methods, which bring high quality with reasonable prices for people who don't have the time and chance to follow the traditional way of learning. This will give working people the opportunity to improve their abilities."


Speakers and delegates together discussed the topic of the symposium


Topica Edtech Group is a leading online education provider in Southeast Asia, with over 1,000 full-time staff and 1,800 instructors in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. Topica Uni collaborates with 11 universites including top-tiered institutions in the Philippines and Vietnam to run high-quality online degree programs. Topica Native provides online English speech tutoring and language courses in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. It was also the first in the world to launch an English speech tutoring app using Google Glass. Topica Edumall is a new marketplace for short and long courses as well as third-party products. Topica also manages the Thailand and Vietnam chapters of the Silicon Valley accelerator Founder Institute. Graduates of the program have raised over US$10 million in funding to date.